the makingbackgrounds & manufacturing
We found the inspiration for the design of the ShadowBoxes in the traditional Chinese dioramas. This kind of carving could be found in the interiors of many houses in the 1950s.
The actual basic source for our design can be found in a unique invention from the 19th century: in 1823, Louis Daguerre, together with his fellow painter Charles-Marie Bouton, constructed the diorama.
A combination of two immense paintings lit from the front and back in an otherwise pitch-black revolving auditorium.
The diorama combined techniques of opaque and translucent painting with methods of manipulating natural light in a live spectacle.
Dioramas, extensive constructions that were set up in many large cities at the time, like a cinema avant la lettre.
A 19th century example of a diorama can still be visited in the church of Bry-sur-Marne, near Paris.
It is easy to see how Daguerre played with the combination of opaque and translucent painting.
brand new design
We have applied this special play with light in a new design, the ShadowBox, an object that is placed in a window frame.
Although every house has several windows and we pay a lot of attention to the decoration of these windows, very few really beautiful objects are made to place specifically in front of a window.
In line with Daguerre’s technical insights, we designed a new technique of light refraction.
By including the images in several layers, our design also creates depth and a wonderful play of light.
This effect makes the colors and structures of the dried natural material come to life in a special way.
We have also succeeded in making the image visible in two ways: both from the interior and from the outside of the house.
For the prints we use special pigment ink, the manufacturer of which guarantees UV resistance for decades.
From collecting, drying, photographing to shaping the moldings.
From the color palette of the image, we design the frame with hand-painted paper, uniquely processed textiles. The choice of the specific type of wood is also in balance with the overall design.
This makes the design of each ShadowBox different and unique.